Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

Zebra swallowtail butterfly. Photo courtesy of Bill Hark.

Is it black with white stripes or white with black stripes?  The Eurytides marcellus, or more commonly known as the zebra swallowtail, is one of the most beautiful swallowtail butterflies in the world.  They get their name from the similarity between the tails on their hind wings, with the tails of swallows (Davila 2001).  The zebra swallowtail, a member of the phylum Arthropoda, has many complex and intriguing interactions with its environment.  This organism is very picky about where it lays its eggs, and has evolved a useful chemical defense that helps protect against predators.

Some words that might come to mind when thinking about arthropods are creepy-crawly, gross, disturbing, and irritating.  However, words that are associated with butterflies are beautiful, graceful, inspirational, and free.  It's hard to believe that butterflies are a part of the phylum Arthropoda.  This website’s purpose is to share information about this beautiful, chemically defended butterfly.  This website is part of a larger project at MultipleOrganisms.net.

If you would like to learn more information about the zebra swallowtail butterfly, please feel free to visit the following websites to help expand your knowledge.

1. University of Florida Featured Creatures

2. University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web

3. BugGuide